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Mugger apologizes decades later on Facebook

Dec. 2, 2013 at 2:02 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A man who mugged a stranger in New York in the 1970s says he took the opportunity to post an apology after spotting his victim's name on Facebook.

Michael Goodman, 53, was commenting on a Facebook post about closed shop H&H Bagels Nov. 19 when he recognized the name of Claude Soffel. Goodman said he was a teenager when he mugged Soffel for a bus pass in the late 1970s, the New York Post reported Monday.

"You may not remember this ... but a long, long time ago I walked up the steps of [the museum] one afternoon, trying to look like a tough guy," Goodman posted.

"I have never forgotten the incident or your name ... then here I am ... reading about my favorite bagel store in the world closing down, and [whose] name do I see but yours," he wrote.

"Finally I can say -- I'M VERY SORRY that you had to go through that crap that day long ago," Goodman wrote.

Soffel, 52, said he remembered the incident on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History and accepted Goodman's apology.

"Clearly you're a 'bigger man' today," Soffel wrote in response to Goodman's comment. "Memory is a funny thing. I recognize your name now as well."

"Any man who draws a line for himself [and says] 'Today I step forward for myself, my family, and humanity' is a hero to me," Soffel wrote. "So let us now, jointly, put this in its proper place, behind us."

Goodman, who told the Post he committed the mugging to impress a friend, said he was promptly arrested after the incident and he served three months of community service for the crime. He said the crime has haunted him ever since.

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